I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see the Brewers go to Houston.
The reason for that is because the Brewers lost to the Cardinals today, 8-4, and were swept at home for the first time this season. And that sweep came at the hands of the Cards, who were chasing the Brewers by 10.5 games in the NL Central coming into this series. Now, they trail by 7.5 games.
Unfortunately, I saw this coming, but Yovani Gallardo had another lousy start against the Cardinals. He went just 4 2/3 innings while giving eight runs on nine hits. He walked one and struck out eight. But, he gave up four home runs, escalating his 2011 total of homers given up to 22. He gave up just 12 in the entire 2010 season.
As usual, the Cards hit two homers in the first inning- one by Rafael Furcal, and one by Albert Pujols. That was the third time this season that Furcal and Pujols hit solo homers in the first inning of a game against the Brewers. Also note that all four of Furcal’s home runs since coming to the Cardinals from the Dodgers have come against the Brewers. Anyway, Pujols hit a grand slam off Gallardo in the third inning to pretty much seal away the game early for the Cards.
The only offense for the Brewers came via the home run ball as well- Jonathan Lucroy, Corey Hart, and Prince Fielder all had homers. But, that wasn’t enough to keep up with the Cardinals’ potent offense.
Anyway, with that disaster of a series over, the Brewers will fly to Houston tonight and start a three-game set there tomorrow. Here are the pitching match-ups:
Zack Greinke (13-5, 4.05) vs. Lucas Harrell (0-0, 7.20 ERA)
Chris Narveson (9-6, 4.28 ERA) vs. Bud Norris (6-8, 3.68 ERA)
Shaun Marcum (11-5, 3.24 ERA) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (10-9, 3.43 ERA)
Greinke will pitch the first game of the series, and he’s coming off a good start against the Cubs in which he went 7 2/3 innings while giving up one run. He’s 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA in two career starts against the Astros.
Harrell was just called up from Triple-A and will be making his first start with the Astros. He pitched earlier this season out of the bullpen for the White Sox.